Tomoe River Paper has really taken off in the last few years. Starting as loose leaf only, then the Hobonichi planner. Seven Seas was the first notebook provider of this glorious paper. Tomoe River Paper is such a marvel for its Bible-thin paper, and its capacity to take ink so well. Tomoe River Paper handles fountain pen ink very well. I’m not a fountain pen user myself, but I hear all the ravings. The paper takes my pigment liner pen just as well.
Nanami’s amazing product coupled with its inconsistent supply creates a devout following. A batch of notebooks comes into stock, and then goes out in a flash. And notebook lovers eagerly hum about when they will come back in — in a few months. At times you can catch them on Amazon, as well as on the Seven Seas website.
Nanami Seven Seas is my current notebook! I started it in 2016, and am about halfway finished with it. It is also worth mentioning that the photos in this review are of a half-used product. The notebook is not new and shiny anymore, but it is helpful to see how well the Nanami wears.
The cover, made of a sturdy and stiffened woven material, gives the appearance of being a humble notebook. Lose the slip cover, and it’s a no-name brand notebook, with no sign of Seven Seas anywhere. This notebook speaks for itself in its beautiful luxe Tomoe river paper. I appreciate the understated visual of the notebook.
While the notebook visually is understated, the smoothness of this paper is hard to overstate. It takes my pigment liner ink extremely well. The slight ghosting is aesthetically pleasing. The lines are extremely faint, and disappear once you fill the line, even better the whole page.
The binding not only allows for the notebook to lay flat, but allows for the cover to bend the front cover behind the back. I’ve had success with this only at the 1/3 to 2/3 page range.
The slip cover the Seven Sea notebooks come in is highly utilitarian. I do not like covers, and have never used a cover with any of my notebooks. While protective, they feel unwieldy and awkward to write with. Always slipping off, creating gaps when open but taught when closed, getting in the way while writing. You can use a cover with Seven Sea’s notebook if that’s your flair, but the slip cover has served that protective function just fine for me. It’s always in the slip case and in my bag when I’m not writing in it. And it has held up well! The corners have become a little gouged. The cover appears worn in a daily wear-and-tear sense, but in good shape.
My only complaint, and it’s hardly a complaint, is that there are too many pages. This notebook is slow to fill for me. I started this notebook in 2016, and I expect it should take me 2 more years (4 years in sum) to finish. As a notebook addict, I’m itching to move on to another notebook, but that won’t be for a while from now.
On this point, I’ve observed a huge range in in tomoe river paper options, with a big gap in the middle. There are handful of 400+ page tomoe river paper notebooks (like Seven Seas) and many 30 page carnets. Can I get a 192 page Tomoe River Paper notebook?
- 480 Pages
- Size: A5
- Lined — 7mm
- Weight: 52 gsm